HealthPeople 2020 are a Department of Human and Health Services blueprintthat aims at improving the health standards of all people living inthe United States. Its general goals includes attainment of highquality and longer life free from premature diseases, healthyequality and improved health for all groups, health social andphysical environment and health behaviors among all individual(HealthyPeople.gov, 2014). Like many societies in the united states,Fort Washington community in Prince George‘s county is faced withseveral health care challenges. In the recent past, due to changes indemography, economic challenges, increased cost of medical services,and emerging health problems, the problems have become worse.
FortWashington in Prince George‘s county community is a highly diversesociety. Although community lives in an incorporated are and thusdoes not have an independent local government, it is a censusdesignated area close the United States capital, Washington DC. Dueto the high diversity in the Prince George County, the population inFort Washington is highly diverse. It has the highest percentage ofhigher income African Americans in the country. Additionally, thecounty has the highest percentage of Hispanic residents and one ofthe largest non English speaking communities in the United States(Lurie et al, 2009).
Accordingto the 2010 US census, there are over twenty three thousand people,over eight thousand households and over six thousand families livingin Fort Washington. Majority of the people living in Fort Washingtonare African Americans who constitute about seven out of tenresidents. Other races are also represented with Hispanicsconstituting about six and half percent. About a quarter of thehouseholds had children aged below 18 years while more than half ofthe married couples were living together. Additionally, almost oneout of five households had an individual age 65 years or older. Thestatistics also indicated that majority of people in the area werebetween the age of 45 and 64 which constituted a third of thepopulation. Additionally, the number of women was slightly higherthan the number of women. Compared to the general population, thepopulation in Fort Washington and in the county in general had arelatively better income levels. However, over sixty percent of thepopulation worked outside the county. This means that they commutedfor at least one hour every day (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015).
Thehealth status of the population in Fort Washington is diverse, mainlydue to diverse economic status. Less educated members of the societywere more likely to be unemployed and thus were more likely to sufferfrom chronic illnesses, mainly in old age. Self reporting on healthcare status in Fort Washington and Prince George Country indicatedthat the health status in the area ranges between poor and fair.However, other reports suggest that the health status of FortWashington is comparable to other regions in the country. However,due to the diversity of the Fort Washington population, some specificreports have indicated that Fort Washington and the county in generalis rated relatively low in relations to the health status of theresidence. Despite this, compared to other regions, residents of FortWashington are more willing to disclose their health status,especially terminal illnesses, compare to other regions in thecountry. Although there Fort Washington residents are more likely tobe obese or overweight, there are less incidences of chronicincidences such as hypertension (Lurie et al, 2009).
Oneof the most important challenges facing the modern health care systemis an aging population. An aged population translates into anincreased demand for health care services. This is due to the factthat the health status of individuals declines significantly withage. From Fort Washington demography figures, majority of theresidences are above the age of 45 years. Additionally, a largenumber of households have an aged member of the family (Lurie et al,2009).
Statisticsindicated that the aging population in Fort Washington has a directimpact on the health care system in the region. Cancers and otherterminal illnesses are leading cause of death in Maryland state andFort Washington in particular. However, the statistics are comparableto national and international statistics. This poses an importantchallenge to the health care system in the region (Lurie et al,2009).
Oneof the objectives of Health People 2020 is to reduce economic impactand death associated with terminal conditions such as cancer(HealthyPeople.gov, 2014). Despite the role of technology indiagnosis and management of cancer as well as positive attitudetowards terminal diseases, the aging population has increased thechallenges associated with end of life care. The health care systemsin the region will require additional end of life nurses and nursingfacilities to adequately care for the increased needs. Anotherchallenge associated with an aged population in health care will bethe increased ethical issues associated with caring for terminallyill patients (Rowland & Bellizzi, 2014, Obsorn et al, 2014).
Inconclusion, Fort Washington in Prince George‘s county has a verydiverse community. Statistics indicates that a third of thepopulation is aged between 45 and 64 years. Due to the increasinglyaging society, nursing challenges associated with end of life carewill have a huge impact on the health care system in the area.
HealthyPeople.gov.(2014). 2020Topics and Objectives,http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives
Lurie,N. et al (2009). AssessingHealth and Health Care in Prince George’s County,RAND Health,ISBN 978-0-8330-4694-9,http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/technical_reports/2009/RAND_TR655.pdf
Obsorn,R. et al (2014). “International Survey Of Older Adults FindsShortcomings In Access, Coordination And Patient-Centered Care”.HealthAffairs,33(12), 2247-2255.
Rowland,J. & Bellizzi, K. (2014). “Cancer Survivorship Issues: Lifeafter Treatment and Implications for an Aging Population”, Journalof Clinical Oncology,32(24), 2662-2668.
U.S.Census Bureau. (2015). Censusof Population and Housing (1790–2010).http://www.census.gov/prod/www/decennial.html